Venue: INA Market
Date: 12th August
Kerala cuisine seems to be one of the most sustainable food options without burning a hole in the pocket and yet not compromising the dining experience.
Kerala Hotel at INA Market is a great instance of this genre of restaurants. In that area recently, we just had this epiphany from Kerala Hotel and landed there for dinner at about 8 p.m. It is a neat place, basic, air conditioned and we saw a constant flow of diners. The meal that we had explained this phenomena.
We started with tea. A full glass, not very thick and a pale pink colour, probably from some tea leaf variety that we are not too familiar, it had the right kick. For main course we had appams and chicken stew.
The stew comprised chunks of chicken in a coconut milk based broth flavoured with curry leaves and sweet spices (cinnamon, cloves, cardamon etc.) that are so well known in Kerala. Star aniseed was liberally used. While full of flavours, every element was balanced and we could identify ingredients like poppy seed paste in this dish. The taste had not been killed with overdose of chilli powder. Julienne of vegetables had been added to the stew making it a wholesome dish. We had the stew with appams that were beautifully mild sour because of the right degree of fermentation. We also ordered a parotta (a flaky version of our paratha) that was thankfully not very oily. The stew would taste yum with rice as well.
South Indian coffee is our favourite. So, even though we were full, we ended the meal with hot filter coffee and burped in satisfaction. Believe you me, the complete meal for two of us costed less than 300 rupees.
Kerala Hotel goes in our hall of fame for great budget food places.